By: Carlos Lima-Lopez
I can honestly say, without fail, I will always have a favorite album for a particular season. There’s nothing quite like having a soundtrack of your life for those months, be it listening to Tame Impala in the blizzard or becoming engrossed in Bosnian Rainbows during a heatwave. This time though, I don’t really have a soundtrack for the summer, although I do have good idea of what I could’ve been bumping.
I became a fan of Lone about two years through of a review posted on Theneedledrop. Anthony Fantano gave it a positive review and it piqued my curiosity; the kicker was that I was in Guatemala on vacation and there were no links to find the album. Hell, my country of descent didn’t even have copies, but I fed off two singles from the album. I was hooked on them and soon as I got back to the States, I saw to it that I would listen to it without fail. I liked the album; I wasn’t in love, but it provided what I wanted. I felt it was too long, but it had such a colorful character, even I could not deny its charm. I openly admit that album was one of the jawns that got me through the summer of 2012. I just kept returning, hoping to love it over time.
When I found out Lone was releasing a new album this year, you better believe I jumped for joy, and when I heard the single “2 is 8”, it was love, finally. That’s what I felt like, just love. I wouldn’t know how to put it to words, other than I had that single on repeat. Maybe it was because on the eve of spring; maybe it was the J Dilla inspired bounce; maybe I was happy to share it with friends; maybe it was the beautifully colorful synths. I just knew this was the happiest single I have heard for the year.
The best way I can describe this album is colorful, because that’s really what it is. It’s a bright and colorful record, filled with blues and reds and whites and blacks (yes, even black can be beautifully rendered vivid). This damned thing is a party in of itself that needs to be heard and embraced. I’m currently listening to “Airglowe Fires”, and all I can imagine is the blue and white sky, and dancing up there. Forget about it gravity!
What I love about the album is its mixture of House music and Dilla inspired Hip-Hop swag. Imagine a bumping club and this is what you’ll be hearing. “Aurora Northern Quarter” is the type of song I want to bask in the sunlight with, while “Begin to Begin” is that amazing cool summer date night song I want playing. There’s this awesome flute solo playing throughout, with an Indian percussion following that are no doubt the highlights. “Meeker Warm Energy” has that tough yet bright J Dilla sound that’s for sure a banger.
What I really want to talk about is the aforementioned “2 is 8” and another personal favorite, “Jaded”. “Jaded” is another one of those breezy summer date nights, but there’s also a sense of hope. Something magical can happen that evening, looking into each other’s eyes, knowing that amazing sensation of what it is to dig one another. Clear skies, a beautiful dark night, and that one moment that can make things feel right. “2 is 8” and “Jaded” are these emotions of unconditional love that I get.
Even if you aren’t a fan of electronica, “Reality Testing” is the album that you cannot deny. It’s such a feel good record, it makes you want to look outside and eat ice cream. It’s a highly productive piece that can melt away the darkest of emotions. It makes the summer feel that much better.
I mentioned I came late into this album, and it’s true. However, I did take something away from it. On the morning of my birthday, I felt the sun shine through and it was comfortably warm. “Meeker Warm Energy” was the song I chose for that moment. All was well.